Bipolar and Sex Addiction

Category : Sex Addiction Information

Bipolar and Sex AddictionSymptoms of bipolar disorder and sex addiction often overlap. There is a close connection between these two conditions. In some cases sex addiction may have been initiated during a time of hypersexuality associated with a bipolar person’s manic phase. In other cases a person may be diagnosed with a sex addiction when he is actually suffering from bipolar mania. Accurately identifying the patient’s situation is critical if effective treatment is to be achieved.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

The brain manages emotional functions through chemical signals and responses. Imbalances in this chemical system can cause a wide range of symptoms. Bipolar disorder is a condition in which a person swings from times of major depression to times of full-blown mania due to chemical imbalances that may have been caused by trauma, substance abuse, or congenital conditions.

Bipolar mania often involves the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Impulsive behaviors (including sexual behavior)
  • Irrationally good mood
  • Sleeplessness
  • Substance abuse

One potential symptom of mania has been dubbed “hypersexuality.” Individuals suffering from hypersexuality feel a constant, compulsive need for sex – even when it causes them pain, suffering or relationship problems. These are very similar symptoms described by people with sex addiction.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sexual activity floods the brain with naturally-occurring “feel good” chemicals that can be as addictive as drugs or alcohol for some people. Sex addicts experience a compulsive need for sexual response that often causes them to experience the following:

  • Frequent masturbation
  • A constant need for pornography
  • Compulsive sex with multiple partners
  • An inability to remain faithful to one person
  • Using prostitutes
  • Risky behaviors that heighten the intensity of sexual response (suffocation, substance abuse, etc.)

When sexual behavior becomes secretive, shameful, or abusive it is considered an addiction.

Co-Occurring Disorders and Treatment

Because emotional functions and sexual activity are controlled by the same part of the brain, it can be very difficult to distinguish them. In some cases bipolar mania can lead to hypersexuality and then to sex addiction. In other cases sex addiction can trigger bouts of depression and substance abuse and can potentially trigger bipolar disorder. The bottom line is that regardless of the original cause, if left untreated bipolar mania and sex addiction will ruin your life. Overcoming either disorder, or both, is possible with the right help.

Effective sex addiction and bipolar disorder treatment requires the following:

  • A thorough diagnosis of all co-occurring psychological disorders
  • Personalized counseling of various types depending on the patient’s diagnosis
  • Group counseling sessions
  • Education
  • Instruction in healthy coping techniques and relaxation skills
  • Strategic preparation for long-term sobriety following rehab

In some cases bipolar disorder is effectively treated with medication in conjunction with these other rehabilitation techniques.

24 Hour Bipolar and Sex Addiction Helpline

If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, sex addiction, or both please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. Our admissions coordinators can answer your questions and refer you to some of the most successful recovery programs available. Don’t endure one more day of pain, frustration, shame and loneliness. Call now. We can help.